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Neighborhood Services Center assistance programs.

Resources available from Neighborhood Services Center tend to focus on assisting with energy and utility bills. The non-profit community action agency offers help from federal funded resources such as MEAP, Head Start, and weatherization. Case managers can also refer income qualified clients to a host of other resources, and that can include everything from job training to food pantries as well as emergency grants for paying rent. The non-profit services as the community action agency for the region.

Using state of Maryland funds, Neighborhood Services can direct tenants to the county’s eviction prevention program. As part of this, families that are behind on their rent can be issued emergency assistance for catching up on their payments, or at least a portion of what is due. Due to limited resources, in some cases the individual will be provided a repayable loan for their rental expenses.

Other homeless prevention programs and assistance for people seeking lodging is administered as well, and this includes everything from placement into an emergency shelter to help in locating permanent housing.

Seniors are always a focus. The organization may have referrals to local agency on aging centers. They will provide medical assistance, meals, advice and supervision for elderly and/or disabled individuals. The goal is to ensure the older members of the community are safe and secure and can reside in their own home. These aging offices collaborate with family members, staff from Neighborhood Services Center and personal physicians to plans tailored to the unique needs of each client.

Together, the different groups work to address rehabilitation, nutrition, medical and social needs of the individual. There is also advocacy, counseling and recreation provided as well. Staff members review care plans few months to assess clients’ physical and mental health as well as progress, and the goal is to help an older or disabled resident live independently.

Senior citizens can also receive transportation from volunteers associated with Neighborhood Services Center. They make arrangements for local medical appointments, shopping trips, and offer even companionship. There may also be transportation to public mental health systems, peer support groups and pharmacies.

Neighborhood Services Center administers the Head Start program to young children and even infants from low-income families in the Talbot County region. It will help them prepare for school, address medical needs, nutritional support, and more. This federally funded preschool program emphasizes cognitive and social development through a comprehensive, developmentally appropriate curriculum that features individualized learning plans.




Teachers and staff that are part of Head Start screen enrolled children for cognitive, social and/or emotional developmental challenges or other conditions. If and when needed, there are referrals for disabled children for the assistance they need. The program also provides all children with free health services. Some of what may be offered includes hearing and vision screenings, medical health reviews, education for parents regarding good dental practices, and other support.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has approved Neighborhood Services Center as a housing counseling agency for both tenants and homeowners in Talbot County. As part of this, the non-profit offers pre-purchase and post-occupancy counseling, as well as services that concern mortgage default, budgeting and credit and delinquency. Other advice will address fair housing, home equity conversion mortgages (HECM) or reverse mortgages, and homeless prevention.

In addition, a number of budgeting workshops in Talbot County Maryland stress the value of setting goals. Counselors will work with individuals and families on paying down debts, adhering to monthly spending plans and repairing credit scores. The seminars, meanwhile, addresses all aspects of homeownership following the purchase of it.

Low income individuals, seniors, and the disabled, as well as entire families in need that reside in Talbot County, can turn to the Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) for help paying their home-heating bills. Under this program, which is the state’s version of LIHEAP, cash payments are made directly to fuel suppliers and utility companies on behalf of customers.

Eligibility is determined by income level, and the program is available to both homeowners and renters in the service territory. MEAP also includes the Utility Service Protection Program (USPP), which is offered to income qualified households. USPP is a monthly payment service that helps protect households from utility service termination.

Financial assistance with paying electric bills is also available to income-eligible residents of Talbot County Maryland through the Electric Universal Service Program. Applications from this are also processed by Neighborhood Services Center, and there is aid for both homeowners as well as individuals who reside in subsidized housing and have heating costs included in their rent agreements.





Neighborhood Services Center operates the federally funded Weatherization service, which is another public subsidy for low-income families. The program, known as WAP, is a free service that helps households lower home energy consumption and reduce energy expenditures by making homes, or even rental units, more energy efficient. The savings really add up during the winter months.

The community action agency conducts home energy audits to determine what changes homes need in order to waste less energy. These improvements may include adding CFL bulbs, caulking and sealing air leaks, insulating walls and/or floors; upgrading water systems and items such as toilets with low flow systems; retrofitting lighting and installing compact fluorescent light bulbs; cleaning and tuning furnaces; and installing health and safety devices.

The program eligibility is based on applicant income, however per government regulations, weatherization prioritizes elderly and/or disabled individuals in the community. Another focus is on families with children and households with the highest energy consumption.

The main office of the community action agency is at 126 Port Street, Easton, Maryland 21601. Call the service center at (410) 822-5015 for more details on these or other assistance programs.




By Jon McNamara














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